What Are Commemorative Coins?

Commemorative coins are a type of souvenir, a coin that marks an event or place that is to be remembered.  Commemorative coins are often used as gifts to commemorate special occasions.  While not always a practical gift, they are often considered to be very special and sentimental.

Commemorative coins are traditionally in high demand with collectors, or anyone who wants to buy and sell coinsMichigan coin dealers face constant inquiries about commemorative coins.  While they are not the most valuable coins available for investing, their significance should not be minimized.  Often the mint date alone can make a commemorative coin valuable.

Sets of commemorative coins have been around since the early 1970s, because marketing them in sets made them more valuable than individual coins.  Many countries have used commemorative coins to celebrate the authority of a leader.

In 1892, a half dollar was minted to commemorate and celebrate the Columbian Exposition, which took place in Chicago, and commemorated the fact that it had been 400 years since Christopher Columbus’s discoveries.

In 1893, the commemorative half dollar recognized Queen Isabella of Spain, who was a major proponent for the women’s rights movement.

Silver commemorative coins were first introduced in the early 1900s.  The first of these coins were minted to honor Lafayette and George Washington.  After these coins appeared, commemorative coins were generally minted to remember celebrations.

In 1932, the Washington quarter was the second US commemorative coin in this denomination to be released, honoring the 200th birthday of George Washington.  This coin continues to circulate today.

During 1892-1954, the US government did not intend to put commemorative coins into circulation, because they were not approved as legal tender.  People who buy and sell coins may not be willing to pay top dollar for these examples if they are still on the open market.

A quarter commemorating the bicentennial celebration was introduced in 1975 and became the second example of a circulating commemorative coin in the US.  Special editions of the silver dollars and half dollars were minted again for collectors.

Different collectors have different priorities when it comes time to buy and sell coins.  There are those who prefer commemorative coins, and those who prefer modern styles.  Each type has a different value, depending on the edition and series.

One confusing part of commemorative coin collecting is the pattern of the denominations selected.  Most commemorative coins are quarters, with some half dollars and silver dollars also frequently found.  Contact your Michigan coin dealer to get all of your questions answered about commemorative coin collecting.

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